Mr. Pop Culture Report. An Interview With NY Radio Legend Harry Harrison.

An Interview with legendary NY radio personality Harry Harrison.

Conducted By Gary West  and

Mr. Pop – Harry – you’re a unique personality in the New York radio market. You were at three major NY radio stations, and by some coincidence, each station’s ratings peeked with you on the talent roster. That’s amazing and I can tell you, it’s never been done in NY then or since. Not two… three major stations.

Harry Harrison – Now that you bring it up, I guess that is true.

Mr. Pop – Let’s look at the ratings: At WMCA, you arrived in 1959 and under the Goodguy format, the station’s ratings rocketed to 15 and 17 shares. Your 1968 arrival at WABC had the station with about 3.8 million listeners. Just over a year later – that hit 6 million. WCBS-FM which was usually about a 3 share – hit over a 5 share.  That’s not taking anything away from the incredible programmers and airstaffs at these stations. It’s just that, looking back at your career, this trend was obvious to me.

Harry Harrison – Thank you. I’ve been so fortunate with these great stations and the people I worked with over the years – and of course – the listeners.

Mr. Pop – I became a fan of you and your work at WMCA, probably the best-programmed NY station during the 1960’s. For a time, it beat every other NY station in the market, no easy achievement for a station with lesser signal than its competitors. How did that happen?

Harry Harrison – You’re right. You do hear so much about WABC and its highly-deserved ratings, but WMCA, I’m proud to say, held its own – and amazingly well. We had such a great airstaff and program director, Ruth Meyer… and we were unique. WMCA was usually first to play new records, and that included the Beatles. That helped us get exclusives, such as hosting them at Carnegie Hall in February, 1964.

Mr. Pop – And WMCA did the same thing in August, 1964, when the Goodguys again, emceed the Beatles at Forest Hills. As if that wasn’t enough, The Goodguys were spotlighted at the Beatles Shea Stadium concert in August of 1965 and again, a year later.

Harry Harrison – Forest Hills. That’s right! You sure know your radio history!

Mr. Pop – Back in 1964, WMCA had two direct competitors, the other was 1010WINS. Did you have your eye on the competition?

Harry Harrison – No, not really. I don’t remember much about WINS because, things were moving so fast for us at WMCA. It wasn’t just the Beatles, we were playing all the British invasion artists such as Dave Clark Five and the Animals and Dusty Springfield. And all those appearances. We were busy.

Mr. Pop – And the Goodguys hosted the Animals at the Paramount  Theater, didn’t they? Separately, I have ratings after WINS went all news – from June of 1965, both WMCA and WABC had 16 shares. WABC jumped ahead in September with a 19 share with its Summer of Solid Gold (WMCA 13). By the end of the year – it was WMCA out front again. You guys were amazing competitors despite the signal handicap.

Harry Harrison – I had forgotten about  the exact ratings. That really is amazing.  About the Animals – that was one of many shows we did at the Paramount.  We did a few weeks there. Whomever wasn’t on the air would go do the show. I remember thinking, “Here we are backstage. Frank Sinatra was here.”

Mr. Pop – Those appearances included Palisades Park. I love the 8mm film (shot by a listener) of you up on stage and… dancing!! Harry Harrison has rhythm.

Harry Harrison (Laughs).

Mr. Pop – Harry, did you like the music you played at WMCA and later WABC?

Harry Harrison – Yes, I did. It was special. And, I got to do it again at CBS-FM.

Mr. Pop – Harry – since WMCA was the station to break-out records and create hits during that era, it was a major stopping point for artists to visit – wasn’t it?

Harry Harrison – If I only had a camera. So many artists came to visit us. One I fondly remember was Tom Jones. I also remember the The Rolling Stones and the Monkees – but there were so many others.

Mr. Pop – Yes, the WMCA Goodguys also emceed a Monkees concert at Forest Hills – back in the summer of 1967.  I also loved the pictures of the WMCA DJ’s with the Beatles.

Harry Harrison – We were very involved with these kinds of things. It was such an exciting time.  As I said, things seemed to move very fast.

Mr. Pop – Ruth Meyer just passed away. I keep hearing she was great to work for.

Harry Harrison – She was an amazing person and a great radio program director. If she had to tell you something, it was always constructive criticism. She put us together and we competed. Our weekly WMCA  music meetings were something to look forward to. The Goodguy songs. It seemed we were always getting together and she made it all – a great experience. There was a lot of kidding and such and Ruth always had a great sense of humor. About the Goodguys – we all did like each other and as you said, it sounded like that on the air. It was true.

Mr.  Pop – Just before you went to WABC, you and the Goodguys emceed one final concert – that of Diana Ross and the Supremes in August of 1968. At WABC, you rarely made emcee appearances.

Harry Harrison – That’s correct. I do remember Rick Sklar asking me to ride along in our “Truck-a-Luck” promotion – and that would have been the beginning of my WABC days. I remember giving a listener a color-TV.  But you are right. WABC wasn’t that kind of station.

Mr. Pop – Just before your move to WABC, several things were going on at WMCA. Can you tell us?

Harry Harrison – Program director Ruth Meyer sort of warned me that changes were going to take place. I found out she was leaving and that bothered me. I still had some time left on my contract and eventually felt like, I wanted to move on. Didn’t know where I was going to go. I called Rick Sklar. We had a nice chat, but nothing was available. I did have offers – one from California.

Mr. Pop – Then something else happened.

Harry  Harrison – That’s right. I asked my wife, “Pretty Patty” if I should call back Rick Sklar; that, I didn’t want to be a nuisance. She said go ahead. I did. Rick said he was about to call me, that there was a position opening up at WABC.

Mr. Pop – So you met…

Harry Harrison – Yes, we had breakfast and he offered me the morning show at WABC. It was at a hotel in Manhattan.

Mr. Pop – Your transition to WABC was as sudden as it could get. I remember listening to your WMCA show on that Saturday, September 18, then all of a sudden, less than 48 hours later, you’re doing mornings at rival WABC. Again – that must be some sort of DJ record. My guess is, you had to make an appearance at WABC while you were still at WMCA.

Harry Harrison – Yes, I visited Herb Oscar Anderson while he was still doing the morning show at WABC. And, the announcement was made to the public right just before I switched stations, I believe.

Mr. Pop – It was classic. No time was lost. I find it amazing that you just took hold of the morning show without any kind of WABC format “training.” WABC and WMCA were very different in their presentations.

Harry Harrison – That’s right. When I went to see Herb, we chatted about things, why he was leaving, but it had nothing to do with training.

Mr. Pop – One thing I noticed about your last WMCA show, particularly the final hour. You kept saying it was “77” degrees. That was a first. WMCA never-ever said “77” degrees as WABC never said “57” degrees. Then Jack Spector, who followed you, suddenly upped the temp to “78” degrees.

Harry Harrison – I did? I don’t remember why (laughs).

Mr. Pop – You “almost” went to WABC much earlier – or at least, they had an interest in you.

Harry Harrison – Yes, I was invited to a WABC meeting, but couldn’t go because I had made vacation arrangements to the mid-west.

Mr. Pop – Looks like that was 1960. Herb Oscar Anderson and Scott Muni must have attended, because those two early WMCA personalities were hired by WABC. Harry, thanks for your time today. I’ll leave it here, because so much is available about your WABC days and later, WCBS-FM. Thank you again!

Harry Harrison – Thank you, and thank you to all my listeners and WMCA, WABC and WCBS-FM, the great people I worked with… and worked for!

This Week In History. News, Music, Pop Culture, Tech, Trends, Movies, Music. A Complete Look At The Week Of January 22-31, 2011.

A Complete Look At The Week Of January 22-31, 2011

Compiled By Gary West @  and

In The News

R.  Sargent Shriver was honored Saturday (Jan.22) as much for his passion for helping others as his loving hugs and enjoyment of baseball. Shriver, who fulfilled his brother-in-law John F. Kennedy’s campaign promise by starting the Peace Corps, developed the aid organization into an international force. Philanthropists and politicians who have worked to help others through charities were among hundreds honoring Shriver at a funeral Massat Our Lady of Mercy Parish, the Shriver family’s church in Potomac, Md. Former President Bill Clinton, first lady Michelle Obama, U2 frontman Bono and singer Wyclef Jean were among those in attendance, along with members of the Kennedy and Shriver

Prime Minister Brian Cowen announced Saturday (Jan.22) that he has resigned as leader of Ireland’s dominant Fianna Fail party but intends to keep leading the government through the March 11 election. Opposition chiefs demanded his immediate ouster as premier.Cowen’s surprise move capped a week of political crises that brought his coalition government to the brink of collapse.

Under pressure to energize the economy, President Barack Obama said Saturday (Jan. 22) he will use his State of the Union address to outline an agenda to create jobs now and boost American competitiveness over the long term. Heading quickly into re-election mode, Obama is expected to use Tuesday’s prime-time speech to promote spending on innovation while also promising to reduce the national debt and cooperate with emboldened Republicans.

An arctic blast from Canada is responsible for some of the frigid temperatures in the northern U.S. and some of the coldest air to hit the Northeast in two years. The cold was linked to at least two deaths in the Northeast, including that of a woman whose frozen body was found in a driveway. Temperatures were projected to fall well below zero across New England on Sunday night as a high-pressure area builds over the region. The coldest spots will dip to less than 30 degrees below zero, with the wind chill expected to drop to 51 below zero in some places, the National Weather Service said.

A shooting on Sunday (Jan.23) at a Wal-Mart in Port Orchard, Washington, just west of Seattle, left two people dead and two sheriff’s deputies wounded, authorities said. A suspected gunman and a young woman were killed in the gunfire, but it was not immediately certain whether they were together or what link if any there was between them, Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Krista Hedstrom told Reuters. The suspect was killed as he tried to flee and deputies returned. A third, female deputy on the scene was unharmed, but Hedstrom said it was not clear who shot the gunman or the woman who died.

J.C. Penney Co. is getting rid of its catalog business and closing some stores, outlets and call center locations in an effort to streamline operations and boost profits. The department store operator also said Monday that Vornado Realty Trust Chairman Steven Roth and activist investor William Ackman will become board members. Penney’s enacted a “poison pill” in October after both Ackman and Vornado took large stakes in the company.

Passing – Fitness guru Jack LaLanne. He was 96. LaLanne pioneered exercise and fitness on television. His workout show was a television staple from the 1950s to the ’70s. LaLanne and his dog Happy encouraged kids to wake their mothers and drag them in front of the television set. He developed exercises that used no special equipment, just a chair and a towel. He also founded a chain of fitness studios that bore his name and in recent years touted the value of raw fruit and vegetables as he helped market a machine called Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer.

An explosion ripped through the international arrivals hall at Moscow’s busiest airport on Monday, killing 36 people and wounding about 130, officials said. The Russian president called it a terror attack. The state RIA Novosti news agency, citing law enforcement sources, said the mid-afternoon explosion at Domodevo Airport may have been caused by a suicide bomber. Those at the airport said it was filled with thousands of people at the time and the terminal filled up quickly with smoke.

General Motors Co. sold more cars and trucks in China last year than it did in the U.S., for the first time in the company’s 102-year history. Despite GM’s growth in China, Toyota Motor Corp. held onto the title of world’s largest automaker. The Japanese company reported 8.42 million sales worldwide last year. That’s 30,000 more than GM’s 8.39 million.

The 22-year-old man accused in a deadly Arizona rampage that critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has made his first public statement regarding his role in the shooting: He’s not guilty. Jared Loughner entered the plea Monday to federal charges of trying to assassinate Giffords and kill two of her aides. He also faces murder charges in the deaths of a federal judge and another Giffords aide killed in the Tucson shootings, and more charges were expected.

State of the Union – January 25 – Seeking to rally the nation to a new era of creative greatness, President Obama in his State of the Union address called on Americans to put aside partisan differences and unite around a common goal of global competitiveness. “This is our generation’s Sputnik moment,” Obama said, likening the U.S.’s current economic situation to the days when the Soviets beat America into space in the 1950s. He called for new investments in education, medical research and technology in hopes of spurring a similar wave of U.S. innovation that the nation experienced in its space race with the Soviets. To win the future, we’ll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making,” Obama said, adding “the world…and the rules have changed.”

Some 26.1 million people watched President Obama’s prime-time State of the Union address, as the big four broadcast networks each devoted at least 90 minutes to their coverage.

Toyota Motor is to recall nearly 1.7 million vehicles worldwide including 1.2 million in Japan and 421,000 overseas over a fuel leak risk, the automaker and the Transport Ministry said on Wednesday. Toyota and the ministry said the recalls include around 245,000 of its luxury Lexus vehicles in the United States and 74,590 Lexus, Crown and other cars in Japan over other leakage fears.

By the end of April, terror threats to the U.S. will no longer be described in shades of green, blue, yellow, orange and red.The nation’s color-coded terror warning system will be phased out beginning this week, according to government officials familiar with the plan. The officials requested anonymity to speak ahead of an announcement scheduled Thursday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Eager to cut spending, the Republican-controlled House voted to end multimillion-dollar federal subsidies for presidential candidates and national political conventions, the first of what party leaders promised will be weekly, bite-sized bills to attack record deficits.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis demanded the president step down in nationwide protests Thursday, taking inspiration from the popular revolt in Tunisia and vowing to continue until their U.S.-backed government falls. Yemen is the latest Arab state to be hit by mass anti-government protests, joining Tunisia and Egypt in calls for revolutionary change. The demonstrations pose a new threat to the stability of Yemen, the Arab world’s most impoverished nation, which has become a haven for al-Qaida militants.

People across the Northeast wearily shoveled their sidewalks and dug out their cars — again — after getting clobbered by the latest in a seemingly never-ending string of snowstorms, this one an overachieving mess that packed more punch than anyone expected. “I’ve lived in New York 70 years, and this year is the worst I remember,” said Lenny Eitelberg, 77. “It’s the continuity of it. It just keeps coming. Every week there’s something new to be worried about. It’s almost become comical.” In the Washington area, up to 7 inches of snow renewed memories of last year’s “snowpocalypse” and created chaos when it hit the nation’s capital at the height of the evening rush hour Wednesday, forcing commuters into treacherous, eight-hour drives home. Even the president got caught in traffic. New York City and the area received about 18 inches

President Barack Obama has chosen Jay Carney, the communications chief to Vice President Joe Biden and a former Time magazine journalist, to be the next White House press secretary. Carney, 45, will provide one of the most public faces of the White House as Obama’s presidency pivots toward re-election. He replaces Robert Gibbs, who has also held an outsized presence as a counselor to Obama for the last several years.

Military training to apply the new law allowing gays to serve openly will begin in February and will move quickly, senior Pentagon leaders said Friday (Jan. 28) They said there is no intent to delay but would not guarantee full implementation of the repeal this year.

Escalating protests in Egypt jarred world financial markets on Friday. Stocks fell while the dollar, Treasurys and gold rose as investors sought to reduce their exposure to risk.

Fighter jets swooped low over Cairo Sunday (Jan.30)  in what appeared to be an attempt by the military to assert control of a city beset by looting, armed robbery and anti-government protests. Minutes before the start of a 4 p.m. curfew, at least two jets made multiple passes over downtown, including a central square where thousands of Egyptians were calling for the departure of President Hosni Mubarak.

Southern Sudan’s referendum commission said Sunday (Jan.30) that more than 99 percent of voters in the south opted to secede from the country’s north in a vote held earlier this month. The announcement drew cheers from a crowd of thousands that gathered in Juba, the dusty capital of what may become the world’s newest country. The weeklong vote, held in early January and widely praised for being peaceful and for meeting international standards, was a condition of a 2005 peace agreement that ended a north-south civil war that lasted two decades and killed 2 million people.

At least 10 people died and more than 40 were hurt when a freight train hit a passenger train head on in eastern Germany, authorities said on Sunday (Jan30.) Wreckage was strewn by the tracks where the regional train derailed after colliding with freight wagons on Saturday night, collapsing compartments as it tipped on its side.

A coalition of opposition groups called for a million people to take to Cairo’s streets Tuesday (Feb.1) to demand the removal of President Hosni Mubarak, the clearest sign yet that a unified leadership was emerging for Egypt’s powerful but disparate protest movement. In an apparent attempt to show change, Mubarak named a new government Monday. But the lineup dominated by regime stalwarts was greeted with scorn by protesters camped out for the fourth day in the capital’s central Tahrir, of Liberation, Square.

A federal judge declared the Obama administration’s health care overhaul unconstitutional Monday (Jan.31) siding with 26 states that argued people cannot be required to buy health insurance. Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson agreed with the states that the new law violates people’s rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties. He went a step further than a previous ruling against the law, declaring the entire thing unconstitutional if the insurance requirement does not hold up.

Sports –

It’s unanimous. And Tom Brady has outdone even himself. The record-setting Patriots quarterback is the leading vote-getter for The Associated Press 2010 NFLAll-Pro Team, the seventh straight year at least one player has gotten every vote. Three years ago, when Brady set the league record for touchdown passes, he missed by a half-vote of being unanimous, sharing a ballot with Brett Favre. As usual, Brady prefered to deflect praise to the rest of the Patriots, who went 14-2 this season before losing in the playoffs to the Jets.

It’ll be the Green Bay Packers vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl!

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman and his wife, Rhonda Aikman, have separated. “This has been a difficult decision for Rhonda and me, but after 10 years of marriage we have decided to separate,” Aikman told the newspaper. “We remain deeply committed to our children and respectfully ask that you honor our family’s privacy during this period of adjustment.”


Black Eyed Peas frontman has teamed up with Intel Corp. to become their new Director of Creative Innovation. The Grammy Award-winning musician will be assisting with the development of devices including laptops, smart phones and tablets, Intel announced Tuesday at their internal sales and marketing conference. Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, hopes to gain the attention of younger generations by incorporating both entertainment and technology, according to Deborah Conrad, the company’s head of marketing.

Facebook users who check in to a store or click the “like” button for a brand may soon find those actions retransmitted on their friends’ pages as a “Sponsored Story” paid for by advertisers. Currently there is no way for users to decline this feature. Facebook says this lets advertisers promote word-of-mouth recommendations that people already made on the site. They play up things people do on the site that might get lost in the mass of links, photos, status updates and other content users share on the world’s largest social network.

Entertainment News –

George Clooney will not be marrying his Italian model girlfriend, Elisabetta Canalis, but he also won’t be marrying anyone else. “I hate to blow your whole news story, but I was married,” George said in an interview on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” which aired on Friday, when asked by his father Nick (who appeared alongside the actor) about considering marriage.”Yeah, so I’ve proven how good I was at it, and I just. … I’m allowed one.”

Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton got an extra special birthday present from her longtime boyfriend Jade Jones over the weekend – an engagement ring! Emma – aka Baby Spice – is engaged, she announced on her Twitter page on Sunday.”Yahooooo I’m Engaged!” the singer/TV personality, who turned 35 on Friday, wrote. “Love you Jade! I’m a very happy lady!”

Christina Aguilera has been tapped for a seriously “Super” gig.The “Burlesque” beauty will sing the national anthem prior to Super Bowl XLV, the NFL announced on Monday.The big game – between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers – will be played on February 6 in Arlington, Texas (just outside of Dallas). FOX will televise the event.”I have been performing the Anthem since I was seven years old and I must say the Super Bowl is a dream come true,” Christina said in a statement released by the NFL. “I am really excited to be part of such an iconic event.”

Less than nine months after the singer’s beau, Jason Trawick, stepped down as her agent last May, she has resigned with his company, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. But an insider stresses Trawick, 39, won’t be the only person handling his gal’s suber-busy career. “Jason will be part of the team handling her career,” a source tells Us. “He won’t be the only agent working with her, he will handling acting endeavors, but there will be a big music department also on her account.”

Massachusetts native Jay Leno is Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Man of the Year. Hasty Pudding Theatricals is the nation’s oldest undergraduate drama troupe. It says “The Tonight Show” host was selected because he has “entertained millions of people over his long and accomplished career in comedy.” Leno follows in the footsteps of his “Tonight Show” mentor Johnny Carson. He won the Hasty Pudding award in 1977.

An emotional Oprah Winfrey says that one of the most impressive things about a Milwaukee woman’s discovery that the two are half-sisters is that the woman never tried to take advantage of her or sell her story. On “The Oprah Winfrey Show” ” that aired Monday, Winfrey announced that she was related to a woman identified only as Patricia. She says Patricia had known the two were related since 2007. Even though she continually tried to reach Winfrey, she never went to the media or otherwise publicized her discovery.

Michael Jackson’s’s doctor pleaded not guilty Tuesday (Jan.25) to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the pop superstar’s death as the case moved rapidly toward a trial that will likely be televised. “Your honor, I am an innocent man,” Dr. Conrad Murray told Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor in a soft voice. “I definitely plead not guilty.” Lawyers for Murray, who is accused of giving Jackson a lethal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol and other sedatives, said they would be ready to go to trial within the 60-day statutory time limit, which would make for an unusually speedy trial.

Jimmy Buffett falls off a stage at the end of a concert in Australia and was rushed to the hospital, but a representative for his sister said Wednesday the singer is doing fine. Australia’s Daily Telegraph reports that audience saw the 64-year-old fall face first off the stage and hit his head at a concert in Sydney. Buffett’s manager then took the stage and urged fans to leave the auditorium, the Hordem Pavillion. The singer was brought to Sydney’s St. Vincent’s Hospital, but is apparently doing well.

Passing – Charlie Callas, a versatile comedian whose zany faces and antics made him a regular for more than four decades on television, in films and on casino stages, has died in Las Vegas. He was 83.

Howard Stern – the Sirius radio shock jock will see his life story play out in the pages of a comic book from Bluewater Productions that will come out in April, the company said on Wednesday. The comic book, which will retail for $3.99, will chronicle Stern’s rise to fame, and the unique and no-holds barred style he brought to broadcasting, as well as his move to Sirius satellite radio in 2006. The comic is titled “Orbit: Howard Stern,” Bluewater Productions said. The company plans other biography comics under the “Orbit” title.

Donald Sutherland who’s played everything from a Nazi spy to an aging astronaut, has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The 75-year-old Sutherland was honored Wednesday with a star right next to son Kiefer Sutherland’s star. The Canadian-born Emmy-winner has made more than 150 movies and television appearances, including “MASH,” “The Dirty Dozen,” “Ordinary People” and “Space Cowboys.”

Bruno Mars has made a deal with Las Vegas prosecutors that will require him to plead guilty to felony cocaine possession stemming from a September bust.Mars, whose real name is Peter Hernandez, was arrested last year after a Hard Rock Hotel employee spotted a bag of cocaine on him.

American Idol – may be recovering its land legs, pulling in 25.2 million viewers on Wednesday night, down less than a million from its Season 10 premiere a week earlier, but still more than all of its network competition combined.The premiere’s 26.1 million viewers was down 13 percent from last season’s premiere.

Comcast is launching Missing Kids On Demand, a public service initiative that will make information about missing children available to its video customers across the United States, the company announced Thursday.

The King’s Speech reigned supreme at the Directors Guild Awards.

The movie’s first-time director, Tom Hooper, won the honor for directing a feature film at the awards held Saturday in Los Angeles, beating out longtime auteurs including David Fincher and Christopher Nolan. Charles Ferguson won the documentary award for the financial crisis film Inside Job. In TV, HBO cleaned up in two categories. Martin Scorsese won best drama series director for his work on the Boardwalk Empire pilot. Temple Grandin director Mick Jackson won for best TV movie or miniseries.

Passing - Comic David Frye, whose impressions of Presidents Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and other prominent political figures vaulted him to popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, has died in Las Vegas, his family confirmed Saturday. He was 77.

Music -

Motley Crue singer Vince Neil will serve 15 days in jail after pleading guilty on Wednesday to drunken driving, a spokeswoman for prosecutors said.Neil, 49, a hard-charging glam metal star, had faced a possible six months behind bars after being arrested in Las Vegas for driving under the influence in June, just one week.

Ke$ha – According to the singer’s label, her first North American headlining tour — the “Get $leazy” tour — is completely sold out already. Ke$ha has had three #1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (“TiK ToK”, “Your Love Is My Drug” and “We R Who We R”) in the first year of her career and her new single “Blow” impacts radio next week.

Sabbath” frontman and his wife, an “America’s Got Talent’ judge, filmed the commercial in Los Angeles earlier this month.

Nicki Minaj’s debut album, “Pink Friday,” is flying off of shelves and now she’s headed to 30 Rockefeller Center to perform on “Saturday Night Live” – a dream she didn’t think would ever materialize for a “female rapper.”

Not only will Lea Michele be starring in a “Glee” Thriller-themed post-Super Bowl episode, she’ll also be singing before the big game. She has signed on to belt out “America the Beautiful” at the start of the Super Bowl on February 6. As previously announced, Christina Aguilera will sing the national anthem.

Music passing – British composer John Barry, best known for providing the soundtrack to the James Bond films and winner of five Academy Awards, has died. He was 77. Barry is survived by his wife Laurie of 33 years and his four children and five grandchildren.”

Television –

Jersey Shore’s 4th season will be shot in Italy.

The future for “The Kennedys” – the axed miniseries about the famous political family – remains in limbo, but star Greg Kinnear is hopeful the project will find a suitable home. The actor, who plays John F. Kennedy alongside Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy in the miniseries that was originally slated to air on The History Channel, at the Sundance Film Festival on Monday (Jan.24), where Greg defended the project.

Attorney Gloria Allred has inked a deal with Entertainment Studios, Inc. to star in a new courtroom show, it was reveled Tuesday at NATPE. Slated for syndication and cable broadcast beginning this fall, “We the People With Gloria Allred” will feature the high profile legal eagle in the judge’s seat.

NBC’s proud peacock won’t be strutting quite so much. One of Comcast Corp.’s first acts, as it takes control of NBC Universal this week, was to pluck the colorful peacock from the corporate logo. The peacock, which has been NBC’s mascot since 1956, will continue to unfurl on air as the symbol of the NBC broadcast network and cable news channels MSNBC and CNBC. So most viewers won’t recognize the bird’s abrupt downgrade.

CBS says musician-actor Sean “Diddy” Combs will guest star on an upcoming episode of  “Hawaii Five-O.” He will play NYPD Detective Reggie Williams, who arrives in Honolulu on the hunt for the men who committed a crime against his family.

The network said Wednesday that several of Combs’ hit songs will be featured on the episode, slated to air this spring.

Charlie Sheen voluntarily enters a rehabilitation center.  The move comes just one day after the actor was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after vomiting, following a late-night bash at his home that extended into the early hours of Thursday morning. Just as Sheen’s rep announced he was entering rehab, CBS announced that “Two and a Half Men,” the actor’s hit comedy, was going on hiatus.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg met Jesse Eisenberg — the actor whose less than flattering portrayal of him in “The Social Network” won an Oscar nomination — for the first time on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live. Eisenberg, a guest host on the NBC show, asked Zuckerberg, “You ever end up seeing the film?” “Yeah, I did,” Zuckerberg replied. “Cool… uh… what’d you think?” Eisenberg asked. “It was… interesting,” Zuckerberg said.

Top albums this week:

The King Is Dead – The Decemberists

Science & Faith – The Script

Kidz Bop 19

Hard Times And Nursery Rhyme… – Social Distortion

Doo-Wops & Hooligans

Low Country Blues – Gregg Allman

Speak Now – Taylor Swift

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Some Kind of Trouble – James Blunt

Loud – Rihanna

Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons

My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean

Country Strong – Soundtrack

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Father – Kanye West

Greatest Hits… So Far!!! – P!nk

Recover – Eminem

Love Letter – R. Kelly

Brothers – The Black Keys

Born Free – Kid Rock

Live On Ten Legs- Pearl Jam

Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

The Beginning – The Black Eyed Peas

Best Night Of My Life – Jamie Foxx

Showroom of Compassion – Cake

Cannibal – Ke$ha

No Mercy – T.I.

Thank You Happy Birthday – Cage the Elephant

At the movies –

The Rite (1st week $15 million)

No Strings Attached

The Green Hornet

The King’s Speech

True Grit

The Dilemma

Black Swan

The Fighter

Yogi Bear

TRON: Legacy


Hip Thursday Night TV (TV Squad)

8:00 to 9:00
ABC: ‘Wipeout’
CBS: ‘$–! My Dad Says’
CW: ‘The Vampire Diaries’
FOX: ‘American Idol’
NBC: ‘Community’ and ‘Perfect Couples’
Cooking Channel: ‘The Three Thieves’
HGTV: ‘My First Place’
NatGeo: ‘Naked Science’

The rest of the schedule and the late night talk shows after the jump.
9:00 to 10:00
CW: ‘Nikita’
FOX: ‘Bones’
NBC: ‘The Office’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’
A&E: ‘The First 48′
Bravo: ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ (the ubiquitous reunion show)
CNBC: ‘Supermarkets Inc: Inside a $500 Billion Dollar Money Machine’
Discovery: ‘Masters of Survival’
ESPN: ‘Winter X Games’ (120 minutes)
Food Network: ‘Unique Eats’ (two episodes)
HGTV: ‘Selling New York’
NatGeo: ‘The Real Sanctum’
Spike: ‘TNA Wrestling Impact’ (120 minutes)
TLC: ‘Police Women of Cincinnati’
truTV: ‘Smoking Gun Presents: World’s Dumbest …’
USA: ‘Royal Pains’

10:00 to 11:00
NBC: ’30 Rock’ and ‘Outsourced’
PBS: ‘This Old House Hour’
A&E: ‘Beyond Scared Straight’
DIY: ‘Rehab Addict’
Food Network: ‘Ace of Cakes’
FX: ‘Archer’*
HGTV: ‘House Hunters’ and ‘House Hunters International’
History: ‘Brad Meltzer’s Decoded’
ID: ‘Nightmare Next Door’
MTV: ‘Jersey Shore’
truTV: ‘Top 20 Most Shocking’
USA: ‘Fairly Legal’

11:00 to Midnight
Bravo: ‘Love Calling’*
Tonight we have a 2-for-1 deal on Sir Anthony Hopkins. If you don’t see enough of him on ‘Charlie Rose’ stick around to see him on ‘Tavis Smiley.’

‘Piers Morgan Tonight’ (CNN): Kim and Kourtney Kardashian (postponed from the previous evening)

‘Charlie Rose’ (PBS): Sir Anthony Hopkins
‘The Mo’Nique Show’ (BET): Carlton Pearson; Wes Morgan; Tye Tribbett
‘The Daily Show’ (Comedy Central): T. Boone Pickens
‘Chelsea Lately’ (E!): TBA
‘Conan’ (TBS): Jane Lynch; Joe Buck; performance by the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger

‘Late Show With David Letterman’ (CBS): Dustin Hoffman; Robert De Niro (repeat)
‘The Tonight Show’ (NBC): Kathy Bates; Brad Womack; performance by Billy Currington
‘The Colbert Report’ (Comedy Central): Physicist Brian Greene

‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (ABC): Ryan Seacreest; Melissa Leo; performance by Cage the Elephant
‘Tavis Smiley’ (PBS): Sir Anthony Hopkins
‘Lopez Tonight’ (TBS): Jennifer Love Hewitt; Guy Fieri

‘The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’ (CBS): Adam Goldberg; Dr. Ruth Westheimer
‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ (NBC): Donald Trump; Bobby Moynihan; performance by Neon Trees (repeat)

‘Last Call With Carson Daly’ (NBC): Lena Dunham; Boi-1da; performance by Fitz and the Tantrums (repeat

Top TV –

1. AFC Championship: N.Y. Jets vs. Pittsburgh CBS
2. AFC Championship Post Game CBS
3. American Idol” (Wednesday) FOX
4. American Idol” (Thursday) FOX
6. Hawaii Five-0″ (Sunday) CBS
7. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS
8. Two and a Half Men CBS
9. The Mentalist CBS
10. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS
11. The Big Bang Theory CBS
12. Mike & Molly CBS
13. Blue Bloods CBS
14. Criminal Minds CBS
15. The Good Wife CBS
16. Harry’s Law NBC
17. Modern Family ABC
18. Hawaii Five-0 CBS
19. Bones FOX
20. How I Met Your Mother CBS

Mr Pop Culture Report – December 15… It’s Time for Zuckerberg… Neil Diamond To Be Hall of Famer… Resume no-no’s… A long-ago rock ‘n roll concert…

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named Time’s “Person of the Year” for 2010, joining the ranks of winners that include heads of state and rock stars as the person the magazine believes most influenced events of the past year. At 26, Zuckerberg is the youngest “Person of the Year” since the first one chosen, Charles Lindbergh; he was 25 when he was named in 1927, Time said Wednesday. Zuckerberg beat out Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II by just two weeks: She was 26 when she was named in 1952.

Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond will enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, he announced on his website. “Any club that has Chuck Berry and Little Richard and The Everly Brothers is a club that I want to be a part of,” the 69-year-old “Sweet Caroline” singer said in a statement. “I think it’s great. I’m happy that they recognized me and my work.” Artists are eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first single or album, although Diamond began recording in the 1960s.

Don’t use these words on your resume – according to Linkedin – they’re way overused and don’t make you stand out:

1. Extensive experience

2. Innovative

3. Motivated

4. Results-oriented

5. Dynamic

6. Proven track record

7. Team player

8. Fast-paced

9. Problem solver

10. Entrepreneurial

Fifty years past (1960-2010): Clay Cole’s Christmas Show
December 23 – January 1, 1960
The Clay Cole all-star ten-day Christmas show at the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre
Producer Sid Bernstein approached New York television host, Clay Cole  in fall of 1960 with an offer he couldn’t refuse; return to The Brooklyn Paramount Theatre to continue the Alan Freed holiday tradition, a 10-day all-star rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza, Clay Cole’s Christmas Show.
Bernstein put together an all-star lineup of  hit-makers, and knowing that he could lure audience members back for two or more shows, he signed Bobby Rydell to headline for three days, Brenda Lee for three, and Ray Charles for four. Murray the K, New York’s top deejay (1010-WINS) was hired to replaced Clay as he raced back to Channel 13, Newark NJ each day to fulfill his live television duties.
The five daily shows broke the all-time box office attendance record at the former 4500+ seat showplace, a record that still stands to this day.

Supporting acts included a million-dollar line-up:
Dion (“Lonely Teenager”)
Neil Sedaka (“Calendar Girl”)
The Drifters (“Save The Last Dance For Me”)
The Coasters (“Searchin” / Yakety Yak”)
The Shirelles (“Will You Still Love Me”)
The Skyliners            (“Since I Don’t Have You”)
Johnny Burnette      (“You’re Sixteen”)
Chubby Checker       (“The Twist”)
Kathy Young (“A Thousand Stars”)
Bobby Vee (“Rubber Ball”)
Jimmy Charles         (“A Million To One”)
Bo Diddley (“Say Man”)
& The Evergreens   (“Alley-Oop”)
Little Anthony
& The Imperials      (“Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop”)
plus, orchestra conductor, an unknown trumpet virtuoso, Bobby Vinton,
with the Delicates, as back-up singers.
Notes: During the run of the show, Billboard magazine arrived announcing the #1 recording on the
Hot 100 – The Shirelles’ “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” their first at #1.
Clay Cole celebrated his 23rd birthday (January 1, 1961) on stage on New Year’s Eve.
Bo Diddley literally “broke a leg.”
Complete story and details:

Mr Pop Culture Report – November 9… (Exclusive) Midday Personality Radio Is Still Alive And Well And Thrives At WCBS-FM. The Personality Is Bob Shannon – Who Never Seems To Have A Bad Day On The Air.

Mr. Pop – Bob, a pleasure talking to one of the best NYC radio personalities. For those who don’t know WCBS-FM, what’s the station playing?

Bob Shannon – The station use to be “oldies” and began back in the early 1970’s playing mostly 1950’s hits. With the years, the station adjusted – and today, we play the hits of 1980’s, the ‘70’s, some 60’s and very little, if any of the 1950’s.

Mr. Pop – And that was inevitable. As the population gets older, stations such as WCBS-FM and, as another example, K-Earth in Los Angeles, have adjusted the hit music they play as they move forward in time.

Bob Shannon – That’s correct. It’s all about reaching the age groups advertisers love – 25-54. A few years ago, so-called “oldies” stations went away and along came “classic hits” which added more of the 1980’s.

Mr. Pop – Bob, what about mixing the 1980’s with the other two decades, mostly 1970’s? It seems to me, it’s not as easy.

Bob Shannon – That’s correct. It is more difficult. The key is picking the right songs; the common denominator songs.

Mr. Pop – Not to sound cliché, but you began in radio back when top-40 AM stations had their music audience grip. Back when DJ’s talked more. A time when there were hardly music sweeps. It was play the song, perhaps a jingle… then DJ talk into a commercial – DJ talk, perhaps another jingle and into a record and the DJ talked over that intro. Then repeated. There were no so-called commercial sets either. You had to be on top of your game. Now, here it is – and you’ve survived in this crazy business.

Bob Shannon – I guess I’ve adapted to each change and each era. Today, I’m a mix of all of it. Having done a variety of approaches, I would say it’s not, “today vs. before.” I think it’s, “today incorporating the best of before.”

Mr. Pop – Well said. And technology now lets us listen to stations such as WCBS-FM almost anywhere.

Bob Shannon – That’s correct. A great example of that is an e-mail I received from somebody listening on a lake in Europe.

Mr. Pop – There’s talk now that radio, as we know it, is on its way out. I don’t believe it. Do you?

Bob Shannon – There’s always going to be a place for it. Especially if it offers what it does best – immediacy and a local feel.

Mr. Pop – Bob, it’s apparent to me that you have a lot of fans. I know you no longer do a website – so how do you keep in touch – or let listeners know what’s on your mind?

Bob Shannon – They can go to the WCBS-FM website and find my blog. It’s a great way to stay connected. And, I have a terrific audience.

Mr. Pop – Has the new method of ratings – the PPM audio method, affected how you do your show? What do you think of the technology?

Bob Shannon – Well, it’s like anything new. Some believe it to be more accurate then the older diary method because it’s in real time. Others say no, because it measures what you’re hearing – and it’s not necessarily from your radio. Again, as I said before, you just have to adapt and keep an open mind.

Mr. Pop – And so far from what the ratings tell us, your show and the station are doing just fine under the new technology. One final question: Do you plan a sequel to your groundbreaking “Behind the Hits” book of the 1980’s?

Bob Shannon – Probably not. My book partner and I decided that so much artist and story information is available on the Internet – that it just wouldn’t make sense.

Mr. Pop – The book is fascinating and it’s hard to believe it was before all of this. Thanks Bob for your time today!

Mr. Pop Culture Report – November 4 … Taylor’s Swift Rise To #1… Facebook Coupons… New High For Cable’s AMC… Wii Still Love Pac-Man…

Taylor Swift fans have spoken — more than a million times. The country-pop superstar sold more than 1 million copies of her new album “Speak Now” to debut at the top of the Billboard album chart this week. said Wednesday that it’s the biggest debut since 50 Cent’s “The Massacre” five years ago.

Facebook begins offering coupons from various retailers, including a promotion from Gap which will give away 10,000 pairs of jeans. Mobile users can access the partner deals on their smartphones, go to the store and show the virtual coupon to the clerk. Facebook said it is launching a test version of the feature, called Deals, with more than 20 companies, including the Gap, McDonalds, 24 Hour Fitness, American Eagle Outfitters and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a chain of movie theaters that serves food and drinks.

AMC’s new zombie drama The Walking Dead debuted to 5.3 million viewers, the largest audience for any original series on the network.

Leading video game publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announces  that PAC-MAN Party has gone gold for Wii. Set in a birthday party theme, PAC-MAN stars in this new venture packed with dozens of mini-games, challenges and surprises. Utilizing the Wii Remote, the game’s easy to pick-up-and-play controls will have players using their skills and reflexes to compete against one another as they move about unique virtual game boards.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – October 26… Madonna’s Fitness… 2 1/2 Pieces of Furniture… Jon Stewart Most Inflentual Man? – You’re Joking!… Kevin Costner Is Doing What??

Pop singer Madonna is opening a chain of fitness centers around the world to be known as Hard Candy Fitness global gyms. A partnership between Madonna, her manager and New Evolution Ventures plans to open the first gym in a posh neighborhood in Mexico City on Nov. 29. Madonna will attend the Mexico City opening. A statement by Hard Candy Fitness says gyms “will open in major cities around the world,” including 10 more locations in Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Europe and Asia. No gyms are immediately planned for the United States, but the statement noted that more locations are possible in the future.

Charlie Sheen was briefly hospitalized Tuesday after security at the Plaza Hotel called police to report he was disorderly and had broken furniture in his room, police said. His publicist blamed an allergic reaction to medication, and said the actor was discharged Tuesday evening and on his way back to Los Angeles. Another report says it straight – he was in a suite with a hooker doing cocaine. Like furniture polish -Sheene left a shine.

We now live in a world where Jon Stewart gets voted most influential man. Don’t take it from me – ask “AskMen” dot com.  OK, say it three times – Jon Stewart is the most influential man of the year…

Kevin Costner – who’s acting days are pretty much behind him – somehow – lands the hosting gig for this year’s “CMT Artist’s of the Year.” CMT as in country. Costner’s claim to country fame – well, he has a band that plays country music – Modern West. Really though – Kevin will keep good company with the likes of Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. It happens Dec. 3.


Mr. Pop Culture Report For October 19… Keith Richards Doesn’t Like Mick Jagger… Goodbye Mr. C… A “10″ On The Andy Richter Scale… There’s No Stopping That Thing You’re On…

Yes, the worst Saturday Night Live TV season was 1980-1981. Looks like Joe Piscopo was the only one retained. See Ask Mr. Pop History.

New Keith Richards Book Out Later This Month…In it, Richards describes Mick Jagger as ‘unbearable’ in his autobiography titled, “Life,” in entries which lay bare their fraught relationship. The 66-year-old reveals his nicknames for Jagger are ‘Brenda’ and ‘Your Majesty’. Richards writes of the distance between the pair, saying: ‘I used to love Mick, but I haven’t been to his dressing room in 20 years. ‘Sometimes I think, “I miss my friend’. I wonder, ‘Where did he go?”‘ ‘It was the beginning of the Eighties when Mick started to become unbearable.’

Goodbye Mr. Cunningham – Passing – Tom Bosley, best known as Howard Cunningham on ‘Happy Days,’ has died at the age of 83. Bosley died in his home in Palm Springs after battling a staph infection.

Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band will be the house band for Conan O’Brien’s upcoming TBS show, the network announced Tuesday. Andy Richter re-teams with Conan O’Brien Vivino, the former associate music director, arranger, guitarist and vocalist for Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, replaces Max Weinberg as bandleader for Conan. Weinberg, who served as bandleader on both of O’Brien’s previous shows for a total of 17 years, opted not to join Conan. Vivino’s brother is Floyd Vivino – New Jersey comedian.

According to a report out Tuesday, there will be 2 billion Web dwellers by the end of this year. The number of internet users worldwide has doubled in the past five years according to the report from the International Telecommunication Union. Much of the big number can be attributed to internet growth in developing countries. The report said 162 million of the 226 million new Internet users in 2010 will live in those countries, where Web access is still growing.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – September 29… A Pop Culture President… Why Is “Dancin With The Stars” On My Newscast Nite And Day?… Is It Possible To Get 300% More Gas Milage? … Obama Loves His Music…

Ashton Kutcher  is President of of Pop Culture (which means he was hired by popchips and this is their new ad campaign). He needs a V/P. Any votes for Mr. Pop Culture and his 3,000 week-by-week library?

From Asheene K – Our local “Eyewitness News” in Los Angeles features “Dancing With The Stars” updates on its morning and evening newscasts. As a story. All the time. Everyday. Why?

Mr. Pop History – Who knows? It’s not news, but a concise plug for the show. Why this show? I have no idea, but someone, somewhere wants it on the news. Makes you wonder and it must tick-off the producers of other ABC-TV shows. This one is getting quite a ride – and in the news, no less.

200% to 300% more gas mileage from a car? It’s possible. It’s being done. The story is amazing. Developing…

Cover of the Rolling Stone – Is President Obama and his music. We get a glimpse inside his iPod. Should be interesting.

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